HOUSTON – Locomotive lovers, the season of lights, holiday shopping and caroling is chugging into full swing. What better way to get into the holly jolly holiday spirit than with one of these yuletide train adventures happening in the Houston-area?
Trains over Texas at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
On view Nov. 20 through Jan. 3, the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s annual spectacle in miniature features a detailed, tennis-court-size approximation of the Lone Star State packed with replicas of some of Texas' most iconic landmarks, including Enchanted Rock and Pedernales Falls. From Big Bend all the way to downtown Houston’s “Be Someone” sign, model trains zoom around the display, passing through oil country salt domes, prairies and the wetlands of the Texas coast. Along with an overview of the state’s rail history, the exhibit offers visitors a one-of-a-kind look at Texas' geology. Fun fact: Unsurprisingly, the exhibit is the largest indoor O-scale model railroad in Texas.
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Nov. 20 through Jan. 3
Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston
Details: $15-$25, “Trains Over Texas” included in price of general admission; (713) 639-4629, hmns.org
The Christmas Train at Victory Camp in Alvin
The Christmas Train chugs into Alvin Nov. 27, beginning another run of the popular holiday attraction. On this yuletide train, passengers will enjoy an eight-to 12-minute ride through a winter wonderland (a.k.a., Camp Victory) decorated with over 300,000 lights and hundreds of Christmas decorations including a gingerbread village display, penguin snow lands, and life-size storybook illustrations.
When: 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5, 10-12 and 14-23
Where: Victory Camp, 1407 Victory Lane, Alvin
Details: $8-12; (281) 388-2267, thechristmastrain.com
A Railroad Christmas at the Galveston Railroad Museum
On select days Nov. 27 through Dec. 23, railway enthusiasts can indulge in some yuletide train fun at the Galveston Railroad Museum’s holiday event, “A Railroad Christmas.” Gander at dozens of trains decked out in holiday decorations and lights or hop aboard The Harborside Express for a 15-min train ride. Guests can also enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus and score some socially distanced pictures with the big man in red himself, who will swap out his sleigh for a train just for the occasion.
When: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 27 through Dec. 23
Where: The Galveston Railroad Museum, 2602 Santa Fe Place, Galveston
Details: $15-20; (409) 765-5700, galvestonrrmuseum.org
Old Time Christmas Tree farm train
The Old Time Christmas Tree Farm out of Spring offers some festive locomotive fun. Here you can hop aboard a miniature train and enjoy a ride through the Christmas tree fields.
When: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Nov. 21 through Dec. 20
Where: Old time Christmas Tree Farm, 7632 Spring Cypress Road, Spring
Details: $3; (281) 370-9141, oldtimechristmastree.com
Holiday fun at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum
On any given day, here you can get a glimpse of Historic Rosenberg in miniature, explore a Missouri Pacific caboose, walk through a 19th-century rail car and more at this railroad museum. But come Saturday Nov. 28, you can also snag a train ride and snap some pics with Santa.
When: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Nov. 28
Where: Rosenberg Railroad Museum, 1921 Avenue F, Rosenberg
Details: $5-7.50; (281) 633-2846, rosenbergrrmuseum.org
Many of their locomotives have been decorated for the season. In addition to Santas, and Christmas trees, guests will also find a seven-foot Lionel Christmas tree with railroad holiday ornaments along with a model train.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19
Where: 210 South Elm, Tomball
Details: Admission and parking are free
Searching for more family-friendly activities in and around Houston? Visit our Things To Do page.